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Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve

[Nature Trail]

Copeland

 The Big Cypress Swamp of southwest Florida is a flat, gently sloping limestone plain. During the rainy season (June through September) water flows slowly southward over this plain into the mangrove swamps bordering the Gulf of Mexico. In places, the flow of water has cut channels into the limestone, allowing deep organic soils to develop. These channels, or drainage sloughs, are occupied by tall, dense, elongated swamp forests that stand out on the horizon in contrast to the open terrain that borders them. The local term for this type of elongated swamp is "strand".

Forests of bald cypress are as impressive as any in the state. The strand contains the largest stand of native royal palms and the largest concentration and variety of epiphytic orchids in North America as well as other species of plants that are extremely rare.

Facilities and activities are limited at the present, but there is one boardwalk providing acces to an old grown cypress strand and opportunities for day hikes are boundless.

Fakahatchee Strand's headquarters are located on Janes Memorial Scenic Drive, just west of Copeland on S.R. 29.

Click here to see more pictures

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